“Bill & Ted Face the Music” has shifted its release plans, and instead will debut on premium video on demand and in select movie theaters on Sept. 1 as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
The announcement comes following the news that Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” has been taken off release calendars, though its still expected to launch in 2020. Since many theater chains had hoped to peg their reopening dates to “Tenet’s” release, the move caused exhibitors to shift their plans.
Already, AMC Theatres — the country’s biggest cinema chain — has delayed plans to reopen, and now plans to resume business in mid to late August. Rival circuits like Regal and Cinemark could follow suit, especially if Disney’s “Mulan” moves off its Aug 21 release date.
Given the surge in cases of coronavirus, it’s unclear when theaters across the United States will be able to reopen to a significant degree. There’s still no sign when New York City and Los Angeles, the two biggest moviegoing markets in the country, will have permission to restart operations.
“Bill & Ted 3,” which was originally set to open on Aug. 21, is the latest movie to skip a traditional theatrical release amid the pandemic. Other movies, such as Andy Samberg’s “Palm Springs,” Judd Apatow’s “The King of Staten Island,” the third “SpongeBob” entry and Disney’s “Artemis Fowl,” have modified plans and launched in homes at a time when most movie theaters are closed and people are still staying at home.